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Foreign Language Curriculum Frameworks

Appendix J. Technology Literacy Competencies

The Technology Literacy Competencies are designed to guide districts in developing a coherent approach to teaching students skills in understanding and manipulating educational technology. These competencies are based on the National Educational Technology Standards Project, developed in consultation with the U.S. Department of Education.

The technology competencies are divided into six broad categories: basic skills, social and ethical issues, productivity tools, communication tools, research tools, and problem solving tools. The competencies within each category need to be introduced, reinforced, and mastered by students throughout the K-12 curriculum. They build upon each other in a logical progression. The category of ethics and human issues, for example, involves more than just teaching students how to use technology tools. It should also involve discussions about the ethical dilemmas that arise when applying these tools.

The sample performance indicators represent realistic, attainable activities that link foreign language standards to the competencies. They are examples of how students would use technology skills when learning a foreign language. Students should acquire basic technology skills by grade 8; in grades 9-12, they will be expected to build on these skills as they use technology to apply, demonstrate, generate, and evaluate ideas in the disciplines they study.

Technology integration requires content curriculum skills, technology training and support, and availability of hardware and software. The Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 calls for a statewide education technology plan, often called Mass Ed Online. To implement this plan, Massachusetts has successfully undertaken multiple initiatives to increase the availability and use of technology in schools and classrooms. The Technology Literacy competencies are part of this effort to guide Districts in their technology planning.

Technology Competencies and Foreign Languages

Categories Competencies by Grade 8 In Foreign Languages
Basic Skills and Operations

Students should be able to:

  • Identify the major components of technology devices that are used in a learning environment (computers, VCRs, audio- and videotapes, and other technologies)
  • Operate computers, VCRs, audio- and videotape players, and other technologies using appropriate input devices (mouse, keyboard, remote control) and output devices (monitor, printer)
  • Solve routine hardware and software problems that occur during everyday use
  • Select and use appropriate applications (e.g., word processing programs, database, spreadsheet, multimedia, web browser) for a variety of classroom projects
  • Communicate about technology using appropriate and accurate terminology

For example, students can:
Open and close an application,
write, spell check, print a document

Access, cut and paste graphics as part of a multimedia project

Connect with Spanish-speaking classrooms around the world by setting up a speech-to-text plug on a web browser to read and hear the language

Social, Ethical, and Human Issues

Students should be able to:

  • Work cooperatively and collaboratively with peers when using technology in the classroom.
  • Identify ethical and legal behaviors when using technology in the classroom and describe personal consequences of inappropriate use
  • Practice responsible use of technology systems and software
  • Analyze advantages and disadvantages of widespread use and reliance on technology in the workplace and in society as a whole

For example, students can:
Recognize and assume personal ownership for ideas, and respect others' ideas

Understand and abide by acceptable use guidelines

Compare the use of technology in the United States with another country where the language being studied is spoken

Technology Productivity Tools

Students should be able to:

  • Use technology tools (e.g., word processing programs, multimedia authoring, presentation, Web tools, digital cameras, scanners) to increase productivity of individual and collaborative projects
  • Create appropriate multimedia projects individually or with support from teachers, family members, or student partners
  • Use assistive technologies to remediate skill deficits when necessary
  • Use technology tools and resources for managing and communicating personal or professional information (finances, schedules, correspondence)

For example, students can:
Use audio-visual technologies to correct and/or enhance pronunciation of words in the target language

Use a draw/paint program to design and illustrate a greeting card in the target language

Write a story in the target language in a word processing program, using the editing feature to check work

Technology Communication Tools

Students should be able to:

  • Use technology resources (word processing, e-mail, online discussions, Web environments) to communicate ideas and thoughts/stories
  • Gather and analyze information using telecommunications.
  • Design, develop, publish and disseminate products (e.g., Web pages, videotapes) using technology resources that demonstrate and communicate curriculum concepts.
  • Routinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, and communications
  • Collaborate with peers, experts, and others to contribute to a content-related knowledge base by using technology to compile, synthesize, produce and disseminate information, models, and other creative works

For example, students can:
Use email to communicate with a student from the target country.

Create a web page with information about the class using the target language.

Work with a class in the target country to compile a database of information comparing the two countries in demographics, geography, and population.

Technology Research Tools

Students should be able to:

  • Use content-specific tools (online encyclopedias/dictionaries, electronic search tools, search engines) to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
  • Evaluate the accuracy, relevance, appropriateness, comprehensiveness, and bias of electronic information sources concerning real-world problems
  • outinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for research
  • Select and apply technology tools for research
  • Collaborate with peers, experts, and others to contribute to a content-related knowledge base by using technology to compile, synthesize, produce and disseminate information, models, and other creative works

For example, students can:
Look up vocabulary words in the target language using an online dictionary.

Evaluate a newspaper article in the target language (from an online source) for appropriateness, comprehensiveness, and bias

Use online tools to locate an individual working in a specific field in the target country; then use e-mail to interview that person in the target language

Technology Problem- Solving and Decision- Making Tools

Students should be able to:

  • Use technology resources (simulations, charts) for problem-solving.
  • Determine when technology is useful and select the appropriate tool(s) and technology resources to address a variety of tasks and problems
  • Investigate and apply expert systems, intelligent agents, and simulations in real-world situations

For example, students can:
Enlarge the print size appearing on the computer screen when needed

Learn about the social and cultural characteristics of target cultures by collaborating online with classrooms around the world

Identify a research question; search for information in print and online; analyze all the information and compose a presentation to teach others

Last Updated: January 1, 1999
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